Friday, September 28, 2012

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (RIP #5)

Book Summary (from the book)

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. Fiction is based on real black and white photographs. The death of grandfather Abe sends sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and explores abandoned bedrooms and hallways. The children may still live.

My Review

What? RIP #5? I know, I know, I had a lot of books that would fall into the challenge, so I’m tackling them. Soon is the Read-a-Thon and for then I have a little more variety. Also, the lab is taking a big toll on me, so I’m going for the easy enjoyable books. Don’t judge me.

Back to the book.  Jacob is a teenager growing up in Florida, nothing special in his life, except that he comes from a rich family (mom side) and someday will inherit part of the business. On the other side, his paternal grandfather is a WWII survivor that used to tell Jacob stories…stories that he no longer believes in. But then something horrible happens; his grandpa is brutally murder and Jacob is the one to find him, dying and his last words trigger a search for the past.

The book is beautiful, I mean physically. Not only the pictures in it give it an eerie vintage look, but also the way they separated the chapters. That said, I think the author could’ve integrated the pictures a little bit better, although to be hones I don’t know exactly how. What I mean is there was a transition missing from text to pictures, but since I’m not a writer I can’t pinpoint how exactly this transition should’ve been done.

The story was nice, not original but not to an extent that I couldn’t see some things coming. That said, I was not expecting the bad guy to be...I won’t tell you, that would be ruining it. But that caught me by surprise. 

Now, one thing I have to say I did not like was the love story in it. Don’t get me wrong. I like love just that this seems so weird to me! Once again I cannot tell you exactly why, but let’s just say that the object of affection of Jacob might have some issues, besides her peculiarity. 

I am looking forward to the second part of the story (expected to come out next year) because I think the whole setting will be even more interesting than just the Welsh isolated island. I do hope the new set of pictures is introduced in a smother way.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Taker by Alma Katsu (RIP #4)

Book Summary (from the book)

True love can last an eternity…but immortality comes at a price

On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural St. Andrew, Main, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting a quiet evening. Until a mysterious woman arrives in his ER, escorted by police –Lanore McIlvrae is a murder suspect- and Luke is inexplicably drawn to her. As Lanny tells him her story, an impassioned account of love and betrayal that transcends time and mortality, she changes his life forever… At the turn of the nineteenth century, when St. Andrew was a Puritan settlement, Lanny was consumed as a child by her love for the son of the town’s founder, and she will do anything to be with him forever. But the price she pays is steep –an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for eternity.

My Review

Let’s make something clear: this is NOT a vampire book. Why am I so adamant about this fact? Because I was actually expecting it to be yet another vampire story, only this time the girl was the one turned. But no, so bravo to Mrs Katsu on the originality.

Something I really enjoyed about this book is that you could take the supernatural part out of it, and it would still be a good story. The main character, Lanny is if not relatable (I find it hard to relate to an immortal who was “borne” in the early 1800s) is charming and is easy to understand where is she coming from, why she does whatever she does, and I like that. I did not like Jonathan, Lanny’s object of affection, but not because he is not a well constructed character, but because the way he behaves. Then again, I think his behaviour is due to an overindulgence that comes from being the only son and heir of the most powerful family in town. Not even Lanny will blame him, acknowlodging her own fault: 
So often we bring about our own downfall
Lanny and Jonathan build a friendship, where the girl would do anything for the boy, without going all Bella for Edward, if you know what I mean. No, she loves him, and in a way she tries to save him from himself several times. 

As it was mentioned in the summary the story starts with Lanny meeting Luke, a recently divorced man who also just lost his parents and has not a lot for himself in a forsaken town. When Lanny arrives to his life, she will tell him her story little by little, while he helps her in his own way.

Even though at first Luke doesn’t do much, other than listen and accompany Lanny, his character grew on me, and I was really happy with the way things ended for him (no spoilers, don’t worry). I guess he will have bigger role in the sequel, which I am quite eager to read. 

Adair, the other main character is a volatile person, he is used to getting whatever he wants, and has no problem using whatever he has in hand to get it and dominate everyone around him, he knows himself to be a devil:
Did you ever think that perhaps the only thing that keeps the devil in check is that he knows how despised he is? Even the devil longs for sympathy at times, but sympathy for the devil is fuel for the flame
The book ends with atonement for Lanny, in more ways than one, and there are a couple of twists that I was not expecting, again, kudos to the author. 

I really enjoyed the book, and since it gave me a little bit more than I expected I’m giving it a 5

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Blog Anniversary!

A year ago I wrote my first review, and so I'm declaring today the official anniversary of my blog!

I wanted to do something special, but alas, I didn't have time :S. I planned on revealing the new image of my blog, but my friend, the one who is working on it had been swamped and so my new image is not ready. Fear not, it should be very soon.

I have a new review almost done to post, but today I have a dinner party, and so I'm writing to you guys in between times in the oven. Hopefully it will be good.

Thank you to everyone that visit my blog, it makes me very happy when I see the results of something that started as a hobby. 

Have a wonderful week-end!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice (RIP #3)

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

Vampire-hero, rockstar and seducer of millions, Lestat is an immortal extraordinaire...

But Lestat yearns to be reborn a mortal. Tormented to the depths of his vampire soul he wanders aimlessly across the globe, from Amsterdam to the Amazon jungle, until he meets the one being who can grant him his wish. He is the Body Thief, more sinister and evil than any daemon. But when Lestat surrenders his vampire body he discovers what he'd so long forgotten: the awkwardness and anguish of being human...

My Review

This is my third R.I.P. review.I had high hopes for this book. I really like Anne Rice and the 3 first installments of The Vampire Chronicles didn’t disappoint me, even with the awful adaptation to cinema for The Queen of the Damned. Sadly I was disappointed, and how. 

The premise was really good. Lestat, after his encounter with Akasha is now powerful beyond limits, and he is starting to get bored with his unstoppable, immortal existence. Then someone appears in his life, someone who is capable of switching bodies, and he proposes and exchange with Lestat.

I don’t think it counts as a spoiler if I tell you that Lestat accepts the deal…but it all went downhill for me after that. Whereas we could’ve explored more of Lestat being human, all I got was him complaining about being human, how disgusted he is with himself (poop? Yikes! Peeing? What is that?) how he doesn’t like it finally, how awful people smell now…see, this one was particularly confusing for me, because as a vampire, he was supposed to have heightened senses, hence he should’ve been able to smell humans more before, not when he became human. And I know it’s been centuries since he became a vampire, but surely you do not forget certain basic stuff about being human, particularly when you still leave amongst them and see how they “work”. 

All the interactions with the Thief where borderline predictable, from the type of person that he was to what he did to escape. And the conversations with David, although far more interesting than the ones with the Thief or Louis itself, where a little bit disconnected in my opinion.
One of the comments in the back of the book is that it was fast paced…I respectfully disagree. Not once was I eagerly turning pages.  I did skim over paragraphs a couple of time, more to my regret, but it was just so slow some times. 

I still want to read the rest of the Vampire Chronicles, but I sure hope that the next one picks up the pace

Sunday, September 9, 2012

TSS: September, Challenges and Read-a-Thon

Hello to all. Yes it's been a while since I posted a Sunday Salon, but to be honest with you I couldn't make me just write out of the blue, every Sunday. Sometimes you have things to share, sometimes you don't, right? And today I do :)

First thing that happened is that I joined a challenge! The R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril is based on the premises of reading books from certain genres. Is short (2 months) and it seemed pretty relax to me, so I decided to try it out.

So far I've done 2 reviews for this challenge: The Ice Princess and Anna dressed in blood. I really enjoyed both books; although the minimum of books I have to review for this challenge is 4, I think I will do a bit more, catching up with a couple of them that I had waiting on my bookshelf

Speaking about that, it seems that we will be changing bookshelves soon, for something that goes better with our living room. I'm exited about that :)

And, I joined the Dewey Read-A-Thon! If you don't know what it is, let me sum it up for you. You for 24 hours! Or at least try to. Mt boyfriend says I can make it (isn't he sweet) and is already in for support, also known as food. It will be on October the 13, so you are more than welcome to join me. By then I will also have my new reading chair, so it should be just perfect.

As you can see it was a big week. I'm also almost done with my personal challenge of 40 books this year, and I'm really happy about it, because this means that maybe, just maybe I will be able to read in average a book per week this year. This might not sound as much for some of you avid readers, but whit my schedule at the lab, I'm giving myself props for that.

That is all for today, have a nice week!